Interview with “The King of Pinyin”—Muxing, who just sold 885.com and zc.com for over $2M 2016-03-30
Muxing(Pinyin of Jupiter), one of Big Four domain investors in China(the other three are Uncle Hang, Leizhu, John Xu), recently sold 885.com and ZC.com for over $2M! The news spread through the entire domaining community, but the post(by Zhangdaguanren) was recently deleted per the request of Muxing himself. He is a low-profile man, indeed.
When we first expressed the will to interview him, he rejected us politely. During the 2-hour interview , Muxing answered every question patiently and carefully. During the conversation, his integrity and sense of responsibility to the domain industry impressed us the most.
Muxing’s investing strategy might not be well accepted by all domainers, but his voice still needs to be heard!
- How did you get started in domain name investing?
Muxing: It was in 2006, working in the former state-owned organization, nobody could take care of the website. I was the youngest one, so I took care of the website as an additional task. That was how I got to know net.cn. One day, all of a sudden, I felt that registering a good domain must be cool. Therefore, I registered my first domain- netsoo.com. Surprisingly, I made several hundreds CNY over this domain. At that time, creative English words domains were quite popular. And later I changed my mind and I believed double pinyin domains are much suitable for Chinese websites. I have been insisting on investing pinyin domains with website building value. You know, every new investor need to pay some tuition fee at the very beginning.
- Why do you think pinyin domains are the most promising ones in China?
Muxing: Because I found out that the most influential websites in China, such like baidu.com and taobao.com, they are all pinyin domains. Double pinyin domains are easy to remember and advertised. The only and most important reason for existence of a domain is application. Domains are not eatable or wearable and they can’t circulate like gold. They can only be used to build websites.
- From a domainer nobody knows to an investor titled as “The King of Pinyin”, what do you think makes you become one of the biggest investors in China?
Muxing: I prefer to call myself as a domain enthusiast, rather than “The King of Pinyin”. From all the gTLds, I certainly love .com domains most. It is my enthusiasm in studying Internet and pinyin domains that keeps me buying one domain after another and makes me who I am now.
- What are the biggest changes to you in all these years of domain investing?
Muxing: I have made more money and more friends, which are two most important changes. People investing domains are often experts in various areas, from whom I have learned quite a lot.
- Which domain in your domain portfolio is the most hard-earned one? Is it Chengzi.com? It is said that it takes you eight years to get chengzi.com (chengzi: orange).
Muxing: Acquiring Chengzi.com is not so tough. The former holder and I have kept in touch for all these years. Last year, he told me that he wanted to go back hometown to do a project. He needed the fund so he offered me a fair price for chengzi.com, and I took it. That’s the story.The most hard-earned one is jimu.com（jimu: toy bricks, lego）. The Foreign seller was changing his mind repeatedly and many investors in China were also bidding for it at the same time. Finally it was Jun Du that helped me got it.
- Among all the domains you hold or you have already sold out, which ones you like most? And could you tell us why?
Muxing: Actually I don’t have emotions for domains. They don’t have feelings like living things. I sold too much that I can’t remember well. I love win-win deals that the buyer gets what he needs and I am also paid back for my work. If I have to tell which ones are my favorite, from those I sold, I would say 567.com, jimu.com, beibei.com(beibei: baby, treasure), kaola.com(kaola: koala), yx.com(short for YouXi: game) are my favored ones. And from those I currently hold, chengzi.com, xiaojia.com(xiaojia: small home), huli.com(huli: fox; nursing), damai.com(damai: barley) are my favored ones. These domains are all of great meanings and are suitable for building websites.
- Could you share with us some interesting investing stories?
Muxing: I sold Muxing.com years ago for thousands CNY. Although it is my name domain, I thought it was not valuable at that time. And this domain was sold for several times thereafter. Not until last year, this domain was sold to my friend, Gandong. My own project needed this domain, so I decided to buy it back.
- Who is the most impressive domainer you have ever met?
Muxing: I will say it is John Xu (4.cn and dn.com owner).
- As for the recent slump of Chinese domain market, what’s your opinion? What do you think Chinese market in the next months would be like?
Muxing: I always insist on investing in valuable domains. My good .com pinyin domains are all sold to people who truly need them. This year’s slump is mainly because of last year’s quick and big price rises, and it is normal there are fallbacks. Another big reason is that many capitals flow to new TLds registration. Domains, which are not like gold or stocks, need renew fee. I don’t predict the market trend, let the market tells us the results.In the future, I will personally insist on investing in valuable domains as usual. Market has got an invisible hand and it adjusts automatically. I hope less domainers suffer loss in this slump. I believe .com domains will not be influenced for their end-user value. There are so many new TLds and promotions. I do not predict which kind of domain will be popular or which will not. I am also studying.
- What do you think current Chinese domain market is missing? Do you find somewhere we can improve on?
Muxing: The previous domain market is quite simple and easy. We buy domains considering whether they are suitable for websites or brands. Investors are friendly to each other. To be honest, I can’t understand Chinese domain market in the recent year. It is always messy and noisy. Chinese businessman may lose bottom line for making money. My thoughts are that no matter you are big investors or new investors, do not make money against consciousness is the most basic thing to do. Investing needs observing and learning. You need to know the reason and value of domains’ existence. Capitals aren’t easy to earn, thus you need to be cautious not to throw them away.
- What’s your attitude to new tlds?
Muxing: It’s not an easy one to answer. I don’t invest on these and I hope people who invest on new TLds can think twice and do more research before they invest.
- What are your favorite websites and domain investing tools? Can you share with us?
Muxing: I like doing researches over APP. Keeping my eye on the whole Internet industry helps me a lot in domain investing. As for websites in domain market, I use ename.com, midai.com, 4.cn a lot, as well as wechat subscription, such DNclass.
- Do you use escrow services? What are the most important things for an escrow platform?
Muxing: Yes, I do. Most of my deals are done through escrow platform. And I think being professional and careful are most important.
- Last year, you use tk.net built a beautiful website. This project “YuanManTangKa” is also highly concerned. Turning from a domain investor to an end user, any different feelings?
Muxing: It was not until I became an end user that I truly understood the significance of domain names. TangKa is my personal hobby and is not made for making money. The nation value that many Chinese people see wealth as the only measure to be successful is not healthy.